Dian's Column
Dian's Archive


When you’ve got it, spend it.

By Dian Vujovich

Now that the Forbes 400 list has reminded us of the richie-richies in Palm Beach, and the size of their bounties, I can’t help but think that spending some of that loot could come with challenges. No, not about how to spend it but rather what to buy.

To ease that pain, if it even exists, I snooped around and found three suggestions fit for those whose monthly income from investments alone would likely provide the other 99 percent with a sweet retirement income. Here they are:

• Purchase a piece of property in central Tokyo and have a home built on it.

According to a Bloomberg.com story, the neighborhood to live in is Shibuya ward where land is scarce, desire for the location high and prices have up 20 percent this year alone.

Then again, according to the same story, prices have apparently gone up 67 since 2011, so who knows how high they will fly before drooping. Nevertheless, the area is hot and neighbors likely to be very interesting.

For instance, Japan’s fourth-richest man, Hiroshi Mikitani, is building a home in the area estimated to cost at least $21 million. Sure you could spend the same in Palm Beach but why not broaden your horizons a little by adding property and a home in the Land of the Rising Sun to your portfolio.

And so what if prices have climbed a lot and may look a little steep: If there is one thing Palm Beachers have learned from this last real estate bubble it is that big buck magnificent properties sell no matter what.

•Or, how about an ostrich-leather smartphone? It’s far less pricey.

The latest creation from Max Pogliani, CEO of luxury smartphone maker Vertu, isn’t studded with anything as his previous phones have been. Instead, this one, the Aster smartphone, covers the Android phone in ostrich-leather.

From Bloomberg.com: “Based in the English village of Church Crookham, Vertu “is taking a more understated luxury approach to match what the consumer is today,” Pogliani said in an interview with Bloomberg News. A decade ago, “it was very much liked by the emerging new rich, the emerging wealth. But then the world has changed in terms of phones and in terms of customers.”

Although it is true that the world of phones has changed, the price tags on these trendy gotta-have hand-held babies isn’t chump change. The Aster Android with a 13-megapixel camera starts at $6,800 for those wanting only a calf-leather cover and can run as high as $9,500 if you’re an ostrich-leather person.

•Then again, frugal yet kinda sorta flashy billionaires might be quite satisfied with gold.

Not real gold, although COMEX gold closed yesterday (10/1/14) at $1,213.40, up from its 52-week low of $1,185 and under the 52-week high of $1,391.90, may be of interest. And who knows, could one day turn out to be the investment many talking heads hope it will be. But the gold we are talking here is fake.

Fake as in a gold-color option that Apple fans can choose to have on their brand new 9.7-inch full-size iPads.

No word on price yet for the super-sized tablets that are expected to be available later this month.

And there you have it, a little something for every billionaire’s pocketbook.

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

[ top ]